Right now our school district uses the 2009 version of Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions. As math programs go, I like it. (Full review here.) Are there things I would like to change about Math Expressions? Yes. Do I think it’s horrible? No.
But here’s the thing. Washington State is fully implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative in 2014. Knowing how these things work, I’m guessing that 2009 Math Expressions will be considered outdated, especially since Houghton Mifflin has come out with a new version of Math Expressions that is Common Core aligned.
It makes me feel sorry for our school district. Those poor people at the district office, trying to figure out how to find $1 million dollars to buy new books that hopefully won’t be outdated in four years… Yikes!
In the meantime, the 2009 Math Expressions books are really cheap. I ordered volume one of the 5th grade textbook for under ten dollars.
Why did I do this? It’s nice to have the book at home so that I can see what my son Bruce is learning in school. Sometimes 5 minutes of “Mom Math” can really make a difference.
There are also a lot of things in the textbook meant to be cut out, like game pieces and little flashcards. This can’t happen in an classroom environment where the books need to be saved for future years…or something.
Vocabulary words can be underlined, important numbers can be circled, concepts can be pretaught or reviewed as needed. This was ten dollars well spent!
Having the textbook at home makes me wish we could all think bigger and be better about collaborating. School Districts, Teachers, Parents, Students; if everyone was literally on the same page, we could make good things happen.
But that would take two things that are constantly in short supply when it comes to education: trust and money.
If a school district is struggling to buy new math books that become obsolete almost as soon as they are printed, how could it ever afford to buy a second set for kids to use at home (maybe) with their parents?
That was a rhetorical question. Homeschools, feel free to give yourselves a smug little pat on the back right about now.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches First Digital Learning Environment for Families: Go Math! Academy (virtual-strategy.com)
- Common Core Standards Shake Up Publishing Biz (wnyc.org)
- Khan Academy using contractors to check Web site’s videos (washingtonpost.com)